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-   -   Michael Moore - brilliant and uplifting (https://www.u2interference.com/forums/f290/michael-moore-brilliant-and-uplifting-176456.html)

Rono 06-10-2007 12:37 AM


Originally posted by U2Man

he is trying to show that the u.s. government treats it's mortal enemies (terrorists and war prisoners) better than it's own people when it comes to health care. a poor american that gets sick is worse off than osama bin laden would have been at guantanamo. it's a perfectly valid point, imo.

K,...so you are saying that every sick person should be in a prison camp and be tortured with out trail ?

I totaly see no connection in a (in my opinion )illigal prison camp and in money making healthcare industry. That Moore went to cuba is only for the media attention to promote the movie.

Canadiens1131 06-10-2007 12:47 AM


Originally posted by TheQuiet1
I'm very interested in seeing this film (is it even going to be released in the UK though?) but I get the impression that it could be a bit...light weight. You know, nice as it is to hear someone saying good things about the UK's NHS for a change, it does still have big problems and I've got idea that Moore's just going to ignore these problems to hammer home his message. He said himself in the Cannes press conference that what the USA needs to do if it develops universal healthcare is to steal the best ideas from abroad and learn from our mistakes but if he isn't going to bother to address the problems we face with the NHS (and other universal healthcare) in his film then what's the point? Surely such a rose-tinted attitude just gives extra ammunition to those opposed to universal healthcare?
My concern with the film as well. From all the preview footage I've seen it seems like he's taking a very lighthearted look at other healthcare systems.

U2DMfan 06-10-2007 02:39 AM


Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
michael moore is as brilliant and uplifting as my taint.

he regularly takes good ideas and fills them with mistruths and flat out lies in order to futher what may have very well been a decent point without said mistruths and lies, opening him up to criticism that will make even the good points he makes have less credibility. that's not brilliant... that's f'ing stupid.

Well, at least you get it.

The saddest thing about the supporters of Michael Moore is, they don't even realize their own hypocrisy.

He's not an ambitious do-gooder with a chip on his shoulder, he's a stooge for morons and in the process he's become a fucking hack of the highest order.

He's dishonest, what more can be said?
Fuck him.

edit:I must add I haven't seen Sicko but I have seen the rest.
I thought Bowling For Columbine was an excellent piece of propaganda, a good film, yes. I haven't owned a gun in my life, nor fired anything that would kill a fly, but you have to be far gone to buy the bullshit portrayed in that film. Totally out of context and intellectually dishonest . Not bad people, just misinformed.

I say that and yet have many of the same questions Moore asks.
I have many of the same worries or fears, etc. on down the line.
I think he's sincere, I just think he's dishonest.

He will not divulge the context of his interviewees and he doesnt publish the context of his interviews, his opinion pieces are treated as fact (he's not alone there, for sure) and he offers no rebuttals to those said opinons.
He's a hack. That's not the worst crime in the world, at the least he could be honest.

Will anyone defend him as honest?

MrsSpringsteen 06-20-2007 08:41 AM

Did anyone see it on YouTube before they removed it?

MaxFisher 06-20-2007 10:59 AM


June 18, 2007

Kyle Smith on Michael Moore's 'Sicko'

Tuesday's New York Post features my review of Michael Moore's "Sicko," a film that will be released in theaters on June 29 but has already been released nationwide, on many Web sites, free, with Moore's blessing. What follows is a greatly expanded, much more detailed version of the one-star review I wrote for the print edition of The Post.

Michael Moore’s latest documentary “Sicko” is an urgent bipartisan plea. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Yankees and Red Sox can surely all agree, says Moore, that our health care system ought to be run by Fidel Castro.
The silliness of Moore’s oeuvre is so self-evident that being able to spot it is not liberal or conservative either; it’s a basic intelligence test, like the ability to match square peg with square hole. (I'll be writing more on Moore on my blog, kylesmithonline.com).

Even Moore does not believe what he says, and his films don’t bring about change-—union membership did not skyrocket nor corporate downsizing trickle off after "Roger and Me," there was no movement towards banning guns after "Bowling for Columbine," and John Kerry did not have to fill out any change of address forms in 2004. Moore's documentaries are mere political slapstick that could have been made by a third Farrelly brother or an eighth Stooge. I will pay him the honor of treating him with his own meds. How else can I deal with a film that calls Hillary Clinton "sexy"?

The bulk of "Sicko" is given over to the stories of Americans who got the run-around from health insurers. These people were told they didn’t qualify for benefits because the requested procedures were too experimental or because of pre-existing conditions. The most absurd example of several is, perhaps, that of the woman who says that after she received benefits, the check was stopped because she had previously suffered an undisclosed yeast infection.

There is no way to know whether this claim is true because Moore’s style is to present whatever information he likes without checking it. He told "Entertainment Weekly" "absolutely not," when asked whether he felt any need to get the other side of the story. So, over time, his work rusts out from within as the facts eat away at it. The central idea of "Bowling for Columbine," for instance—that the killers were subconsciously driven to their actions by the presence of a weapons manufacturing plant in Littleton---turned out to be not only conceptually insane but literally untrue. The plant did not make what Moore called "weapons of mass destruction" but rather space launch vehicles for TV satellites. “Roger & Me,” which presented Moore as unable to secure an interview with the GM chief Roger Smith, was also a 90-minute lie: Moore did talk to Smith, a fact revealed by Ralph Nader.

One Los Angeles woman in “Sicko” says her daughter died because her insurance company told her to take her daughter to a different hospital than the first one she went to, and there are several other similarly grim tales. Moore is smart enough to know that a depressed audience is an absent audience, so he mixes the genuinely sad cases with ones that are just dopey, such as the one about the young six-foot beansprout rejected for coverage because he was underweight.
Regardless of whether any particular claim in "Sicko" is true, no one doubts that lots of insured and uninsured Americans face health-care crises. So far, Moore is master of the obvious. We all hate insurance companies and red tape, and we all want to improve the system. Where do we go from here?

To France, Britain and Canada, says Moore, who presents each of them as a health-care paradise. But lots of people in those countries have health-care nightmares of their own. Here’s how easy it is to lie by anecdote: Say I wanted to make a film about gay black Republicans who live in Chelsea. I find ten of them, make a film about them, and you walk out of the theater thinking: Wow, so many gay black Republicans in Chelsea! The six years it took me to find these ten guys will go unnoted.

All three countries are edging away from how Moore portrays them. Moore knows that in France, where he praises not only the health service but limits on working hours, expansive unemployment benefits and the country’s three preferred forms of exercise—street-marching, banner-hoisting and strikes—a new conservative president was just elected by promising to cut back on such nonsense. (According to Moore, if you need a babysitter or help with the laundry, the French government will send a trained professional right over.)

Everywhere he looks, Moore finds French happiness. But this phrase is as close to an oxymoron as French rock. In a poll, 85 percent of the French recently said their country is heading in the wrong direction. Right direction? Nine percent. In France in 2003, 15,000 mostly elderly hospital patients died in an August heat wave--because hospitals lack air conditioning and doctors were on vacation. The French parliament blamed the health care system. That’s five times 9/11’s toll, all of it preventable, all of it unlamented by Moore.

Moore knows that in Britain, where National Health Service spending has more than doubled since Tony Blair was elected, with little to show for it, there is a two-tier health system: the smart set carry private insurance, which Moore wants to outlaw in the U.S. The cliché in London (check out this story and this one) is that the well-shod go to the same doctor as the suckers on the National Health Service. The difference is that private clients get treated right away while the NHS losers wait two years to get their strep throat looked at.

Moore glosses over wait times, hoping his audience is too stupid to notice. He asks a handful of Canadian patients how long they had to wait to see the doctor. Oh, 20 minutes, 45 minutes, everyone says. So if Moore finds five people who didn’t have to wait, there’s no waiting for anybody! “To any Canadian who has ever been forced to go to emergency, this would seem unbelievable,” writes Thomas Malkom, a vehemently pro-Moore columnist for Canada’s paper The Star. The Canadian Supreme Court struck down a law forbidding private insurance in a 2005 decision, ruling that "Access to a waiting list is not access to health care" The decision resulted from a Canadian case in which a man waited a year for hip-replacement surgery, and Canada has started down the road of privatization. Check out the Canadian movie "The Barbarian Invasions" (which is, like "Sicko," a fiction film) for a view of how Canadians view their system: agonizing waits; trips across the border to Vermont to get access to modern technology; fetid facilities modeled, seemingly, on an American one—the Confederate field hospital in "Gone with the Wind."

Here is Dr. David Gratzer, the Canadian author of "The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save Health Care," who believes both the US and Canadian systems are deeply flawed:

"Like most Canadians, I believed that we had the best-run health-care system in the world. Because the system was publically owned, I assumed that compassion came before profit and that everyone got good care. . .After I entered medical school, however, my view of Canadian health care changed…I trained in emergency rooms that were chronically, chaotically, dangerously overcrowded, not only in my hometown of Winnipeg, but all across Canada. I met a middle-aged man with sleep problems who was booked for an appointment with a specialist three years later; a man with pain following a simple hernia repair who was referred to a pain clinic with a two-year wait list; a woman with breast cancer who was asked to wait four more months before starting the lifesaving radiation therapy. According to the government’s own statistics, some 1.2 million Canadians couldn’t get a family doctor. In some rural areas, town councils resorted to lotteries: the winners would get appointments with the only general practitioners around."
Mere anecdotes? Yes, but mine cancel out Moore’s. Where are the stats? Moore emphasizes life-expectancy figures in which the US slightly lags some other Western countries. But life expectancy involves many factors; two that Moore is especially knowledgeable about, obesity and homicide by firearm, are special American plagues. Here’s a stat: The percentage of patients having to wait more than four months for non-emergency surgery is about five times higher in Canada and seven times higher in Britain than it is here. [see Gratzer, 171]

In his EW interview, Moore tacitly admitted that "Sicko" lies about wait times, saying, "Well, okay, let’s set up a system where we don’t have the Canadian wait. Let’s set up a system where we take what they do right and don't do the things that we do wrong." Yes, and let's also make sure that every girl gets to be the prettiest girl in town.

Those who have mastered basic economics can skip this paragraph. Not everyone can have everything they want because there is not an unlimited supply of anything (except maybe air); that’s why Canada and Britain have lotteries to determine who gets treatment. Deciding who gets what and when involves rationing, either by price or by waiting or some combination of the two. If the Mets announced that World Series tickets were free to anyone lining up in front of the Shea Stadium box office, you’d have to go get in line now. Medicare, which isn’t an unlimited benefit, is by itself projected to eat up a third of federal tax revenues by 2030[see Gratzer, p. 7]. There isn’t enough money in the U.S. to pay for free, wait-free top-quality universal health care. The law of supply and demand can no more be repealed than the law that all documentary films must be left-wing. Gratzer's book suggests a real-world solution: decentralization that gives patients more choice: "both failed options [HMOs and Medicare/Medicaid] share one fatal feature. They remove choices from patients and give them to government or corporate bureaucrats. Restricting patient choices in this way, flouting the laws of basic economics, has been a mistake. It's the reason why, while pocket calculators have declined in price from $500 to $5, the price of pacemakers keeps rising."

When Moore visits a British pharmacy in which all drugs cost ten bucks, what he isn’t showing is who invented the drugs: evil American profit-hungry pharmaceutical firms that would effectively be shut down if there were a $10 price limit on all prescriptions. Firms spend hundreds of millions developing and testing a drug while the patent clock ticks down, only to be forced to start over if the drug is rejected by the FDA. If a drug is approved, they have only a few years to recoup costs (and the cost of all the previous failures) by charging "exorbitant" market prices because the drug will soon go generic, i.e. non-exorbitant, i.e. virtually free. The Brits freeload on American technology. Being regulated to death is the reason the once-vibrant European pharmaceutical industry has been lapped by its U.S. counterpart in the last few decades. Want your drugs invented and open-heart surgery performed by the people who gave us FEMA, Amtrak and the CIA? Does the Post Office do a better job than FedEx? I can't mail a package via the federal government without waiting in line 20 minutes--and the Post Office is the best-run federal agency.

Moore is outwardly a genial buffoon; inwardly he is an authoritarian buffoon. He lets it show in two long episodes: a straight-faced interview with the UK’s infamous Commie, Tony Benn, whom Moore presents as an expert on the transformative power of socialism, and the famous-before-anyone-saw-it sequence, first reported in The Post, in which Moore takes some 9/11 rescue workers with lingering health problems to Cuba.

Moore, at a Havana hospital, says he requested that his group receive exactly the same care as any Cuban who walked in—"and that’s exactly what they got." As comedy, this statement is on a par with the sex scene in "Knocked Up," the chest waxing in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and the moment in "An Inconvenient Truth" when Al Gore tells us that the ecology’s no. 1 enemy, China, is in fact "on the cutting edge" of environmentalism.

In the Cuba section of "Sicko," so many guys in white coats (don't look at the camera, guys!) scurry around Moore’s patients listening to symptoms, peering at X-rays and firing up high-tech medical equipment that the scene seems to have been co-written by Groucho and Karl Marx. If Fidel himself gets this level of care, it’s no wonder the guy has outlasted nine presidents.

You can’t film anywhere in Castro’s Alcatraz without government say-so, meaning the whole scene was as phony as what happens when Frank Bruni walks into a four-star restaurant, and if there is a Michael Moore of Cuba, he is in jail right now. Reporters without Borders calls Cuba the world’s second biggest prison for journalists after China. But Moore solemnly reports Cuba’s official health statistics, which are of course a fiction dreamed up by El Presidente, because Moore's motto is to trust no authority figure from cringing corporate spokesman on up to Washington windbags. Except dictators. Dictators, he’ll take your word for it. I expected Moore to protect himself with a thin coat of disclaimer, just a line to say, "Look, I know Cuba is actually a prison nation where nobody’s gotten a new car since Fredo betrayed Michael, but I’m just using this as an extreme example for ironic purposes." Instead, his irony runs the other way: He plays scare music over an image of Castro to get a laugh. I say that again: he thinks the idea that Castro is evil is so obviously ridiculous that he says it sarcastically and expects you to giggle along. Moore calls Cuban health care among the best in the world. Nonsense. Cuba is short on everything from clean drinking water and aspirin on up.

The health care industry could not ask for a more ideal opponent than Moore; the idea that US health should go to a single-payer model is held by plenty of reasonable people, but Moore is not one of them. Despite his apparent belief that he can seem moderate by narrating the film in a sing-song, I’m-talking-to-a-child-or-moron tone, the man can no more hide his Marxism than his belly. He presents not only Tony Benn but Che Guevera’s daughter as voices of sanity and, through a French doctor, Moore sneaks in the Marxist slogan "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." Everyone who has ever lived in a country that put this idea into practice has found that it actually means this: Give the country whatever it asks for and take back whatever it gives you, and do so without complaint or go to prison. Moore also runs lots of old Soviet propaganda footage with comical music on the soundtrack as if to suggest that Stalin was just another campy, overhyped entertainment figure--Martin Short with a mustache.

Moore has been along long enough that his ideas are starting to contradict one other; on his Web site, he once said of Al Qaeda’s grunts in Iraq, "They are the REVOLUTION, the minutemen," but in this film he tries to jog around to the right of Paul Wolfowitz: He pretends to be aghast that the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay (is any other group of 380 people in the world receiving as much attention as these guys?) get top medical care. So, Mike: don’t these heroes, these minutemen, deserve a doc?

Moore comes up with a few zingers, though fewer than in previous films. There’s a funny montage of a Congressman making speeches on health care in which he keeps tearing up on cue and talking about how much he loves his mama. Even I laughed when, following an American north of the border to get some CanuckCare, Moore said, "We’re Americans. We go into other countries when we need to." The founder of socialized medicine in Canada is described as the most important man in the country’s history, "even more than Wayne Gretzky!"

Let’s not give too much credit to Moore, though, for what he did about a guy who runs an anti-Moore Web site who was going to be forced to shut it down—because of a health crisis he couldn’t afford. When Moore found out about it, he anonymously sent a $12,000 check, or .0005 of the money he was paid to make this movie. An anonymous check is not actually anonymous if you announce it in a movie; then it becomes simply a bargain method for buying stories in the press that paint you as a nice guy. Moore, of course, has a Castro-ish history of suppressing dissent But he is free to prove himself a patron of the loyal opposition. He can send my check in care of the Post.

BVS 06-20-2007 11:10 AM

This guy has obviously never watched a documentary before...

LJT 06-20-2007 12:00 PM

The writer is as slanted as Moore.

maycocksean 06-20-2007 03:08 PM


Originally posted by LJT
The writer is as slanted as Moore.
Yup. I quit reading right about the time he made the comment about the "law of supply and demand" being equivalent to "all documentatries being left-wing."

I don't care for Michael Moore because I do believe he is sensationalistic and intellectually dishonest. . .the same reason I don't care for Coulter, Limbaugh et. al.

He think he's helping the cause of better health care but he's only making it easier for the right to justify doing nothing.

anitram 06-20-2007 04:42 PM


Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Did anyone see it on YouTube before they removed it?

MrsSpringsteen 06-20-2007 04:43 PM

Wow, someone answered :eek: I shouldn't say "someone" but you know what I mean...

So how is it, without giving spoilers if possible :)

anitram 06-20-2007 04:48 PM

I liked it better than Bowling and Fahrenheit. It had less of Moore's standard stunts (although there were still a few, obviously) so if you find that to be particularly obnoxious, then you'll like this. It was a lot more personal, and some of the people/patients he introduced you to had really touching and heartbreaking stories. He spent a lot of time on them, and less time on mocking politicians, so that made it a better movie as well, I felt.

He went to France, the UK and Canada to look at their health systems. I can't speak for the other two, but he did give a pretty rosy picture of the Canadian one. Our system is pretty good - the way you hear it described in the US as horrible and with huge waitlists is a lot of fearmongering garbage. BUT I have also waited in ERs for several hours, not the 30-45 minutes he seemed to be suggesting. So I'd say this is a valid criticism.

It's definitely worth seeing, you just have to watch it critically, like with most things.

MrsSpringsteen 06-21-2007 08:32 AM

Thanks. I am definitely seeing it-if my crappy suburban megaplex shows it of course. They did have Fahrenheit 9/11.

ntalwar 06-21-2007 09:39 AM


Originally posted by anitram
Our system is pretty good - the way you hear it described in the US as horrible and with huge waitlists is a lot of fearmongering garbage.
When I visited Montreal once, a Canadian tour guide also took a swipe at the health care system there. He pointed out a hospital and said it offers free surgery, as long as you are willing to wait a few months (or something like that).

anitram 06-21-2007 12:53 PM


Originally posted by ntalwar

When I visited Montreal once, a Canadian tour guide also took a swipe at the health care system there. He pointed out a hospital and said it offers free surgery, as long as you are willing to wait a few months (or something like that).

I think this is very misunderstood. If you need emergency surgery, you get it immediately, obviously. If you need surgery for which there might be a waiting list....you wait. That doesn't mean you're sitting there waiting for a brain tumor to be removed for 3 months! All it means is that you're prioritized based on need. I mean, elective surgery in the States works similarly - when they can schedule you in. Maybe if you are Paris Hilton, you can walk into a hospital and pay $3 million for them to perform a knee replacement that afternoon, I don't know. But for regular Americans, you will also have to wait a week or two or whenever the surgeon and OR are available. It's not like a McDonald's where you walk in and get fast food.

For all this talk of Canadian waitlists...you'd think the courts would be inundated with people suing over access to healthcare and wrongful death. But there isn't an open floodgate there so that should tell you something given what a litigious society we have become.

Everywhere in the world you WAIT for services. Maybe the tour guide thought he was being funny or something.

Smallville 06-21-2007 01:14 PM

I would love to see a documentary on social medicine, but I refuse to see anything by Moore.

Anyone know of any less biased documentaries on social medicine?

MrsSpringsteen 06-21-2007 01:17 PM

From what I have read and heard it's equally biased against Republicans and Democrats. Most viewers can see his biases, doesn't mean the film isn't worth seeing.

Irvine511 06-21-2007 01:21 PM

i want to see it simply because i'm less concerned with what Moore is saying and more concerned with how he says it.

everyone is saying that this might be his best film from a filmmaker standpoint -- love him or hate him, or take him for what he is, he's a very skilled documentarian.

ntalwar 06-21-2007 01:36 PM


Originally posted by anitram

Everywhere in the world you WAIT for services. Maybe the tour guide thought he was being funny or something.

Obviously it's more of a wait for elective surgery.
There are Canadian medical tourists, just as there are American ones. According to the numerous online articles on medical tourism, many Canadians go abroad for surgery because of the long waits and Americans go because of the high costs.

MrsSpringsteen 06-22-2007 09:24 AM

Wow, he had some nerve asking him to take that out. Begging him..

Washington Post

Moore Says Weinstein Wanted Clinton Scene Cut

By Politics
Friday, June 22, 2007

Michael Moore is getting a lot of mileage out of the hit he takes on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in his provocative new movie "Sicko," which made its Washington premiere Wednesday night at the Uptown theater.

Moore said after the premiere that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a personal friend and supporter of the Clintons whose company financed the film, "begged" him to remove a scene exposing Hillary Clinton as the second-highest recipient of campaign donations from the health-care industry.

"I said, 'No, Harvey. I gotta do the right thing.' He understood."

Moore said he didn't know whether the Clintons asked Weinstein to make the call.

The film describes her as "sexy" and "sassy" as photos of Clinton over the years are splashed on the screen.

After her health-care overhaul plan failed, Clinton went "silent" -- as Moore put it -- on the need for health-care changes. And then she began raking in the dough -- big time -- from the industry when she started running for office.

Clinton's campaign had no comment on Weinstein's attempt to have the scene removed.

anitram 06-22-2007 10:48 AM


Originally posted by ntalwar

Obviously it's more of a wait for elective surgery.
There are Canadian medical tourists, just as there are American ones. According to the numerous online articles on medical tourism, many Canadians go abroad for surgery because of the long waits and Americans go because of the high costs.

Well that is true - no system is perfect. That said, I'd rather have ours than yours, every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

ETA: I've lived in 4 countries - 3 in Europe and then Canada. They all had similar systems. You wait for elective surgery and it's debatable how "long" the wait is. Sometimes, it can be quite long, sometimes it's standard. But you know it's a uniquely American demand that you have what you want the minute you want it and if you can't have it, that's a disaster. It isn't at all how the rest of the world operates and their medical systems are fine. The Europeans (and Canadians) are thinner, healthier and live longer than you by and large. And that's despite some wait times for elective surgery. So when you compare the health systems, to me, it's a no brainer which one I would choose in my situation. If I were Bill Gates, sure, park me at the Mayo Clinic and serve my every need.

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